Did John Dewey Put Prediction into Action?

Prediction does not appear, at first, to be something that a sociologist, or really any analyst of anything, can safely ascribe to those (or that) which they are studying without running afoul of about a thousand different stringent rules that define how probability can be used for the purposes of …

The Cognitive Hesitation: or, CSS’s Sociological Predecessor

Simmel is widely considered to be the seminal figure from the classical sociological tradition on social network analysis. As certain principles and tools of network analysis have been transposed to empirical domains beyond their conventional home, Simmel has also become the classical predecessor for formal sociology, giving license to the …

An Argument for False Consciousness

Philosophers generally discuss belief-formation in one of two ways: internalist and externalist. Both arguments are concerned with the justification of the beliefs that a given agent purports to have. Internalists and externalists dispute the kinds of justification that can be given to a belief, in order to lend or detract …

Practice Theory versus Problem-Solving

In 2009, Neil Gross argued that the critique of action as a calculation of means to ends, which had been ongoing for at least the prior thirty years, had been successful. Not only that, the insistence that “action-theoretical assumptions necessarily factor into every account of social order and change and …

Beyond Good Old-Fashioned Ideology Theory, Part Two

In part one, I examined two recent frameworks for understanding ideology (Jost and Martin) and explained how both serve as alternatives to the good old-fashioned ideology theory (GOFIT). Ultimately, I concluded that Martin’s (2015) model has specific advantages over Jost’s (2006) model, though the connection between ideology and “practical mastery …

Beyond Good Old-Fashioned Ideology Theory, Part One

The concept of ideology is surely one of the sacred cow concepts of sociology (and the social sciences more generally) and is one of the special few that circulates widely outside the ivory tower. It is also a concept that is arguably the most indebted of all to the presumption that …

Folk Psychology and Legal Responsibility

If folk psychology is false, is legal responsibility dead? If legal responsibility is dead, is everything permitted? Maybe not, but such questions have received growing attention in the legal field, as the field confronts the prospect of an emergent “neuro-law.” Neuroscience challenges the unacknowledged background of commitments to theories of …

Bourdieu as a (Hetero)phenomenologist

Toward the beginning of Pierre Bourdieu’s newly published 1999-2000 lectures from the College de France (Manet: A Symbolic Revolution), a perplexed art student asks Bourdieu the following question, one that the verbatim lectures show to have worried and preoccupied the great theorist of practice: Your recent conferences have astonished me. …

Making Ontology Practical

Questions of ontology have gathered an audience in sociology over the past decade, particularly as galvanized (pro or con) by the critical realist movement (Gorski 2013). Such an influence is to be welcomed: ontology constitutes an improvement in the way that traditional issues are discussed and debated in the field. …

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